ACTA THERIOLOGICA SINICA ›› 2014, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (2): 193-199.

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A comparison of live traps and pitfall traps for monitoring the diversity of ground - dwelling small mammals in forests

YAGN Xifu, XIE Wenhua, TAO Shuanglun, LI Junnian, XIAO Zhishu   

  1. College of Biology and Environmental Sciences,Jishou University
  • Online:2014-05-13 Published:2014-08-18
  • Contact: XIAO Zhishu:


杨锡福 谢文华 陶双伦 李俊年 肖治术   

  1. 吉首大学生物资源与环境科学学院
  • 通讯作者: 肖治术
  • 基金资助:
    “十二五” 国家科技支撑项目(2012BAD19B02 ); 国家自然科学基金资助项目(31240470); 中国科学院知识创新工程重要方向项目(KSCX2 - EW - N - 05);湖南省和吉首大学大学生研究性学习和创新性实验计划项目(JSU - CX - 2011 - 39)

Abstract: Small mammals are among the most important indicators used for monitoring wildlife diversity Live traps and pitfall traps are common methods used to investigate community and population dynamics of ground - dwelling small mammals. However,it is poorly explored which trapping method is more efficient to evaluate diversity patterns of ground -dwelling small mammals. We compared the advantages,limitations and applications of live traps and pitfall traps based on species richness,community diversity and body mass of ground - dwelling small mammals in forest ecosystems. During August and September of 2012,we monitored ground - dwelling small mammals using live traps and pitfall traps in the Banruosi forest in the Dujiangyan City,Southwest China. We found that species composition biodiversity patterns and body mass of small mammals varied greatly between live traps and pitfall traps,though species richness was quite similar between them. In addition,species composition,species diversity indices and evenness indices for small mammals were lower using live traps than using pitfall traps,but the dominance indices and body masses were higher using live traps than using pitfall traps. Our study indicates that live traps can capture more rodents with larger body mass,while pitfall traps are more efficient for monitoring insectivores and rodents with smaller body mass. Live traps had a relatively higher cost and also required bait during trapping compared to non - bait pitfall traps. Since most of the trapped animals are dead using pitfall traps,live traps are better to monitor community and population dynamics of small rodents. We also recommend that both live traps and pitfall traps should be used simultaneously to monitor the whole diversity patterns of ground-dwelling small mammals.

Key words: Diversity monitoring, Live traps, Pitfall traps, Small mammals

关键词: 小型兽类, 笼捕法, 陷阱法, 多样性监测